A device that is an alternative to max-pads and tampons. Instead is a soft cup that is inserted into the vagina much like a diaphragm to catch the flow of menstrual blood, rather than absorb it like conventional feminine protection does.

Pros to Instead
Clean and comfortable sex,
Instead can be worn for up to 12 hours

Cons to Instead
Potential for leakage

A few years ago, just about half of my girl friends were swearing by the wonders of Instead. I was always a little leery of trying them: I'm a tampon girl, but even OB Tampons seemed a little too difficult for my lazy self. I never had much of a need to switch the tampons either, and the only issue I ever had with my period in general was the lack of sex during it. That's what finally lured me into the land of Instead: sex.

I was going on a camping trip and there was a possibility that I'd be starting my period very soon. I brought along the usual tampons but also grabbed a box of Instead at the store while I was at it. My menstrual flow commenced promptly on the first morning in the woods, and I used my first menstrual cup. At first it felt kinda funny, but it was easier to insert than I'd expected. After a few minutes I felt nothing, so I went along with my day as usual, even engaging in a little intercourse with no difficulty. My period was unusually short and light, but I had no difficulty with mess or leakage.

After that experience, I became an Instead crusader. I told all of my friends about how wonderful and easy to use it was, and I made them all promise me that they would try it.

Then it happened: Instead did me wrong. My best friend turned its back on me and left me confused and alone. I went to school with a freshly inserted Instead soft cup and proceeded to live my normal life. I felt a little strange, and started to question my not-so-fresh feeling after about 2 hours. I went to the bathroom and discovered a good deal of leakage. The cup seemed to be in proper position and everything, so I didn't understand why it wasn't working. I cleaned myself up to the best of my ability, and since the bathrooms at my school are not stocked with tampon/pad dispensers, I was forced to use some wads of toilet paper for temporary protection until I could be sure that I wasn't spilling anymore.

Now I have very mixed feelings about Instead. I will chock up my leakage to inexperience, but since I cannot completely trust the method anymore, I won't use it without a backup, and that defeats the purpose. I will continue to try Instead when I'm sitting at home alone on the weekends and can afford to bleed on myself, but as far as my primary method of defense, it will not be my method of choice.

UPDATE 4/2/03: Even after my bad experiences, I decided to continue to use instead during intercourse. That led to an even worse experience. Somehow, someway, the damn thing became dislodged and jammed itself somewhere quite painful. So painful I broke out into immediate tears and couldn't move for a few minutes. When I tried to remove instead, I could barely grab onto a piece of the latex with two fingers and pull it out that way, but it took me about 10 minutes, and I feared a trip to the emergency room might be in order. A little sex during period time was not worth the pain of that experience.

In*stead" (?), adv. [Pref. in- + stead place.]


In the place or room; -- usually followed by of.

Let thistles grow of wheat. Job xxxi. 40.

Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab. 2 Sam. xvii. 25.


Equivalent; equal to; -- usually with of.


This very consideration to a wise man is instead of a thousand arguments, to satisfy him, that in those times no such thing was believed. Tillotson.


© Webster 1913.

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